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'New norm' agreement

Wylie & Bisset staff take pay cut in home working deal

Donald McKinnon: ‘creating a new norm’

Staff at chartered accountancy firm Wylie & Bisset have agreed a cut in salary in exchange for a nine-day fortnight as part of a shift towards more home working.

The firm has reached agreement with the workforce following a reassessment of its processes.

Remote working during lockdown has proved successful, with minimum disruption and the firm has now fully embraced homeworking.

Following a consultation period, staff have been encouraged to work more from home and to work a nine-day fortnight to offer a better work/life balance on a pro rata salary.

Managing partner Donald McKinnon said: “We want to create the new norm rather than just be part of it.

“We regard ourselves as blazing a trail; trendsetters rather than fashion followers who have grasped the opportunity presented by the health crisis to restructure our operations so that we are fit for purpose by adapting to the new norm.

Having gone through this process, I feel better equipped to advise other business owners

– Donald McKinnon, Wylie & Bisset

“The crisis gave us the time to review our working methodologies and processes and, having looked into the future, we have emerged with a creative response that signals the death of the traditional nine to five Monday to Friday treadmill by embracing the need for flexibility and the requirement for a better work/life balance.

“I am actively engaged in the provision of corporate restructuring advice, but few corporate restructuring advisers restructure their own businesses.

“That is what we have done and, having gone through this process, I feel better equipped to advise other business owners about how to restructure their companies.”

The changes have been broadly welcomed by Wylie & Bisset staff. Mark Harper, insolvency manager, said: “Whilst working from home during lockdown has had its challenges, I can certainly see the benefits of doing it more often.

“The colleagues I have spoken to also see the benefits of avoiding the rush hour commute and the savings that will come from travelling to the office less often.”

Claire Dalrymple, senior manager in the corporate department, added: “I hope to be able to work from home two or three days a week, and I do think that rather than travelling to client meetings, I will continue to conduct a lot of these meetings on digital platforms.

“Not only will that enhance my productivity, I think those of us who need to travel to the office every day could save a significant sum on travelling expenses by working from home more often.”

Wylie & Bisset’s ‘new normal’ became fully operational at the start of this month.



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